Just a couple of years since starring alongside Jennifer Lopez in the critically acclaimed drama Hustlers, Constance Wu is making a return to television, joining the cast of Amazon’s Chris Pratt-led series The Terminal List. Based on a book written by former Navy SEAL Jack Carr, the action-thriller tells the story of Navy SEAL James Reece (Pratt) who finds himself facing enemy forces back home following a mission that gets his entire platoon killed.
In the series, Wu plays journalist Katie Buranek who is determined to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly a role unlike any that the actress had done before, being best known for her time in the family comedy Fresh Off the Boat and the rom-com Crazy Rich Asians in the past. And as it turns out, there’s a special reason why Wu agreed to do the show.
Constance Wu Says The Terminal List Has ‘A Lot Of Fun Twists And Turns’
Sure, there have been several action-thrillers that involve special forces and espionage, but Wu believes that it’s certainly never been done this way, especially when it comes to her type of character. “You don’t know what to expect. And that includes, to your point about our characters, characters that typically people think, ‘Oh, this is what we’re going to expect from the FBI agent or the journalist,’” the actress said.
“And plot-wise you don’t know what to expect, there’s a lot of fun twists and turns in this show. And also the same thing goes for the characters; the lengths they go to meet their goals are continuously surprising, but also like so on character, you know, on point for character.”
In the series, Katie goes to bold lengths to uncover the plot behind the murders of Reece’s teammates and family. And as it turns out, she is motivated by the fact that she hasn’t seen her father in years since he spoke out against the Chinese Communist Party.
“With Katie’s family history and her father and everything he sacrificed for journalistic integrity to uncover the truth, her motivation is deeply rooted in her own past,” the actress explained. “That’s why she befriends Reece, even though she’s not always sure what side he’s on [or knows] what to think. She gets herself in a lot of sticky situations in pursuit of this truth, and I think it’s because it matters so much in terms of her family history.”
Here’s Why Constance Wu Agreed To Star In The Terminal List
Following the success of Hustlers, Wu thought about her next move carefully. The last thing she wanted was to be pigeonholed. Therefore, it was important for her to show off her range as best she can. That essentially meant doing something different from her film with Lopez. And that’s why The Terminal List made perfect sense.
“Yeah, that’s the most fun is when you get to try to do something different than what you did before. You know, I’ve been saying that, like, my job before this was Hustlers, where I played a stripper! Which was really fun to delve into that world, [but] it was a very different world than being a war correspondent,” Wu explained.
“And so that’s, you know, always challenging yourself as an actor, and also just getting to know different different points of view, different professions, and different kinds of people. And we really did, because we had real SEALs on set, real Green Berets you know? I mean, it was a great learning opportunity.”
At the same time, the actress also believes that her character’s story is quite relevant to what’s going on right now. “Sometimes, journalistic integrity is lacking because it is all about what is most clickable and causes the most engagement, rather than what is the true, complex, nuanced story,” Wu said. “I mean that as an actor and as a journalist. So, I think it is important to remind ourselves why journalistic integrity is important and that there are people — at least on TV — who still care about it.”
The actress has also talked a bit about what it’s like to work with Pratt who also serves as an executive producer in the series. And as it turns out, the two stars bonded over being parents. “He and I had babies around the same time, his wife Katherine had a baby around the same time I did,” pointed out. “For such a show that feels like kind of masculine and aggressive sometimes, it’s really lovely that the atmosphere on set, I think was warm and almost family-based, and that’s what it was like working with Chris, and it was a gift.”
At the moment, it is unclear if The Terminal List would be renewed for a second season. That said, Carr has four other books centered around Pratt’s James Reece.
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